Oldham's Co-operative Council: A social productivity framework
At a time when most councils face huge fiscal, demand and political pressures, Oldham Council has embarked on an ambitious journey to by becoming a co-operative borough. A former mill town, Oldham has suffered steep economic decline compounded by often tense community relations which culminated in riots in the summer of 2001. The past few years have seen a determined attempted by council leaders to improve the quality of governance within the borough and to tackle the challenge of building a sustainable economic and social future for Oldham.
In this report, 2020 Hub assesses Oldham's progress against its co-operative vision and what must still be done to achieve it. While the council has come some way in its journey, a number of challenges towards realising its co-operative vision still remain. The report recommends that the council introduces a clear 'roadmap for change' through which its citizens can hold the local authority to account; offers partners a 'new co-operative deal', setting out the commitments expected from citizens, public sector organisations and local businesses; carries out a spending and growth review for social productivity in Oldham in the run up to HM Treasury's 2013 Spending Review; and strengthens the Local Leaders Programme, including more support for councillors and better use of new technology.
This report was supported by Oldham Council and Local Government Leadership.